Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants 2018

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This study shows that migrant smuggling routes affect every part of the world. It is based on an extensive review of existing data and literature. The study presents detailed information about key smuggling routes, such as the magnitude, the profiles of smugglers and smuggled migrants, the modus operandi of smugglers and the risks that smuggled migrants face. It shows that smugglers use land, air and sea routes – and combinations of those – in their quest to profit from people’s desire to improve their lives. Smugglers also expose migrants to a range of risks; violence, theft, exploitation, sexual violence, kidnapping and even death along many routes.



The Americas

As in most parts of the world, migrant smuggling routes in the Americas are flexible and subject to rapid and significant changes. Two predominant broad routes can nonetheless be discerned. The first is a relatively clear-cut northward route that connects flows from many locations in South and Central America, proceeds through Central American countries, leading into Mexico and finally to the United States of America (and Canada). The second is a multi-destination southward route into and within South America.


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